The first collection by independent London-based designers ranges from small home accessories to larger furniture and demonstrates a low-impact approach to production.
Many designs are made of found and locally abundant materials. Alison Cooke, for instance, created vases from clay excavated from the Thames riverbed, while Andu Masebo crafted a chair from the stainless steel tubes used in car exhaust pipes.
Projects also highlight the creative value of waste. Emmely Elgersma recycles London broadsheet newspapers and discarded tennis ball containers into papier mâché table lamps, and James O’Brien uses a potato block printing technique to decorate and give fresh appeal to second-hand ceramic plates.
The “by Londoners, for Londoners” concept will become increasingly important as designers and brands push to minimise their carbon footprints and imbue goods with a connection to place.
This approach also makes good business sense. It helps brands reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by sourcing and selling locally – as opposed to shipping globally – and mitigates ongoing supply chain issues. What’s more, it positions megabrands, such as H&M and Ikea, as supporters of the local economy and advocates for a thriving independent design scene to win favour with the community.